Inexpensive and low commitment—seeds are the simplest way to begin your spring garden early, indoors, and a step ahead of your neighbors!
At South Texas Tack we have generously expanded our Gift department with new varieties of Urban Agriculture’s Grow Your Own Kits for spring. See below for our personal tips and tricks for a successful yield of sunflowers, zinnias, sweet peas, and bluebonnets!
First things first: sunflowers are hardy. They relish in extreme heat; they have survived on the Great Plains since 3,000 B.C.; they can even survive a slight chill if you plant the seeds too early. You cannot kill sunflowers. Sunflowers do not need fertilizer, water as needed when you see the sprouts appear and during growth. Low maintenance and quite the statement piece, sunflowers are a safe bet for any gardener!
Zinnias come in a ton of varieties; all are excellent choices! Described as a “set it and forget it” plant, you cannot go wrong with these easy-going spring flowers. Watering once a week as needed and a slight pinch off the top of new plants to force the plant to bush fuller is all that is required. Once the flower’s lives are drawing to a close, you can harvest the seeds and enjoy them again next year!
Your garden will look straight off of Pinterest when you plant your sweet peas. Start them from seed indoors now, plant them outdoors as soon as the soil is warm enough to work easily (a month before your last projected frost—check the link below for your area), and ta-dah! Wild tendrils of foliage and fragrance aplenty, sweet peas make gorgeous cut arrangements for your table.
Honesty hour…bluebonnets are the most challenging of the above listed flowers to cultivate. But, I (and the link below) will let you in on the exact tips you need to create a returning, bustling field of bluebonnets for years to come. Start by scarifying your seeds. What does that even mean?! Basically, bluebonnets are so tough, they need a little help break out of their seed coats. By roughing up or softening the outside of the seed, the germination process is a bit easier for the plants. (There are several methods to scarify seeds by; click on the link below.) Once you have established bluebonnet plants, but they are not proliferating like you may have hoped, dig up a plant and examine the root structure. Are there nodules on the roots? If not, there needs to be! You may need to add a bit of Rhizobium to your soil; this will aid good bacteria in accessing the roots to form the necessary nodules. Water as usual, wait to mow down after the seed pods are dried and yellow, and you will have an even more impressive yield next spring!
If you are interested in starting an herb garden, too, check out our other Grow Your Own Kits in Cilantro, Mint, and Rosemary! Regardless of what type of gardening you try this spring, just know we are rootin’ for you, haha!
By: Haley Mazac